In response to the Coronavirus pandemic, Facebook has added a new feature to help businesses communicate with their customers about changes in the delivery of services, hours, or availability.
Businesses with temporary changes such as restaurants that cannot serve food in-house can use this feature to let their customers know they are still open for takeout or delivery. Other companies who have changed their services to online options can also broadcast the message on their Facebook page with this new setting.
How to Set Up Temporary Changes to Hours or Services
To make the change on your business Facebook page, go to Page Settings > Page Info > Hours and select “Temporary Service Changes.” You can then choose “Temporarily Closed” or select “Open with Service Changes.” With this selection, you can choose options such as:
Where the Changes Will Appear
These changes will appear on your Facebook Page, the Page preview, and in searches and curated lists of local resources. An example would be someone searching in Events for places offering delivery options for takeout food. Special hours, altered services, and temporary closures will also show up in these types of searches.
Facebook’s Commitment During the Pandemic
Facebook has made the following statement on their Facebook for Business page: “We continue to explore how we can support businesses through this challenging time. Learn about our Small Business Grants program and access our Business Resource Hub to see additional opportunities we’re offering and the steps we’re recommending. Get the latest updates on how Facebook is responding to the coronavirus outbreak.”
Pin a Post for Altered Services or Business Hours
Another option is to pin a post to the top of your timeline on Facebook so that visitors will see that first. You can use this top post to communicate your open/closed status, altered hours, or changes to how your business is offering services. For example, some companies are offering curbside delivery for takeout food and home renovation supplies to limit the number of customers in the store.
During this challenging time, businesses can rely on social media and other online resources to communicate with customers and deliver services virtually when possible.